Monday, April 29, 2013

Just A Minute, April 2013

Watching | Doctor Who, Series 7 Part 2. I wait for it eagerly through the week and when the episode finally drops, I sometimes get too terrified to watch it. Like with Hide, it was so fantastically creepy I had to stop watching at night and begin again the next day day in bright daylight!

Reading | Kristan Higgins. I recently discovered this author and am digging into her catalogue of books. I love rom-coms!

Listening | To teenage Korean music sensations Akdong Musician and 15&.

Enjoying | My new shopping haul from Public Garden and Gap.

Trying | To drink a cup of lemon water every morning & evening.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rottnest Island 02, Perth 2013

Perth Journal, Day 05 (cont...)

It may have been difficult. I may have been huffing and puffing more than I should. But it was worth the cycle for my first encounter with a lighthouse. Wadjemup Lighthouse was built in 1896 and was a replacement for the original lighthouse on Rottnest Island. Wadjemup is the Aboriginal name for Rottnest Island. With Rotto being one of the larger islands near Fremantle and usually sighted first by ships, the lighthouse is responsible for guiding ships to the Fremantle Port and the Swan River.

When we got to the lighthouse, I was surprised to find out that despite it being a working lighthouse, tours (paid) were provided by volunteer guides. With a recent project at work and my own research on the Horsburgh Lighthouse on one of Singapore's islands, I am used to thinking of lighthouses as strategic and military sensitive property where access is forbidden. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to take the tour because we had to make sure we got back to dock in time for our return ferry. I would have loved to climb the 155 steps to the top. (Psst. Although pamphlets state that no water is sold  on the island except at Thomson Bay, the friendly lighthouse guides has a secret stash of ice-cold water. Just so you know...)

After the lighthouse, we headed inland where we cycled past some really gorgeous lakes (and thankfully, flat land). The waters looked really clear but unfortunately the lakes were closed. I am so glad I switched over to Provia slide film by this point. I can't get over how gorgeous the lakes look.

One day on Rottnest Island wasn't enough, there is still so much of the island to explore. I know that this place will definitely be on my itinerary whenever I make a trip to Perth!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Link-Ups, 24 April 2013

Newly opened Hoshino Coffee at Plaza Singapura. Food from the menu was good, but I am not convinced about the pancake souffle (the highlight of the desserts menu).


Oops! I unintentionally missed out last week's edition of Link-Ups. I blame my aching thigh and calves muscles. Why? Because I just started a kickboxing class after weeks of inactivity and the instructor was torturous! Although my muscles were aching something horrible, it felt good to get some aerobic action in my life again. I have been feeling very sluggish lately and I need to get some blood pumping! Anyway, to make up for being MIA last week, I have double the usual amount of links to share. Enjoy!

x One day in Osaka with Sarah.

x Sally J Shim visits the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival. The cherry blossoms in Korea are lovely. With Airasia now offering (almost) direct flights to Busan, two other friends and me just made a pact over Friday night drinks to fly to Busan next year in April to see the Jinhae cherry blossoms with our own eyes. I can't wait to make this a reality.

x Mr and Mrs Globetrot (Yuriy and Julia) shares a sneak peek from their recent trip to Iceland. I cannot wait to see the rest of it!

x I am always thinking of how to make my office table a little more fun. After all, I spend more time at the office than I spend at home. May as well make it look good right? DesignLoveFest just redecorated her space and this is way beyond what I always dreamed about. But here's something  that I can actually do, once I neaten up my wires. Why does Windows have so many more wires than Macs.

x Justin Zhuang (noted local writer) puts together a list of indie magazines and journals in Singapore. I read or own about half of the publications on the list, but there are some I have not heard before and I am looking to get my hands on them for a browse.

x Don't sit around moaning about the horrible job market, get up and figure out how to score your dream internship.

x If you are about to embark on an internship this summer, you'd better read this. As someone who hires and works with interns at my 9-5, I found myself nodding along to a lot of the points.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rottnest Island 01, Perth 2013

Perth Journal, Day 05

For me, the highlight of the trip was Rottnest Island. An island that advertised clear skies, sandy beaches, clear waters for snorkelling, bicycling trails, and lighthouses. How quick can you get me on that Rottnest Express ferry? We planned our trip to Rottnest on a Tuesday to take advantage of the Telethon Tuesdays discount. We also hired our bikes through Rottnest Express. Instead of having to go over to the bike hire shop, we could pick up our bikes right off the dock and start exploring the island! No cars are allowed on the island and the only ways to traverse the island are via bike, feet or the bus. 

We headed south-east from Thomson Bay, intending to cycle the 10km bicycle trail, with stops at Little Salmon Bay for some snorkelling and Wadjemup Lighthouse. On paper, 10km seems pretty easy but, oh boy, all those pamphlets don't tell you about the hills, slopes and the blazing hot sun! We had to take frequent breaks and push our bikes up the hills quite a bit. While I think I would enjoy the cycling more in slightly cooler weathers, it still felt good to be out in the sunshine, cycling around the island and taking in the incredible scenery.

We stopped at Little Salmon Bay where I snorkelled for a while. While beautifully clear, the waters were actually quite cold. I haven't swum in the sea for a very very long time, city kid that I am, so it took me awhile to get use to the sea and my snorkelling equipment. The first time I ducked under, I forgot that seawater is salty! Gulp! I swallowed quite a few mouthfuls of water! Slowly, I got the hang of it and I managed to snorkel out to sea, past the end of the cliff in the above photograph. The corals or sea life weren't particularly beautiful but it was amazing to be swimming so close to the fishes.

After snorkelling, and a quick lunch of sandwiches, we got on our bikes again to head towards Wadjemup Lighthouse. That's the lighthouse in the distance, from Salmon Bay. You can see, we have our work cut out from us to get there.

Meet Quokka! These little creatures roam the island and are what gave Rottnest Island its name. Unfortunately, these adorable creatures were mistaken for rats by early Dutch explorers and so the island became known as Rotte nest.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Pinnacles, Perth 2013

Perth Journal, Day 04
En-route to The Pinnacles, we stopped at the town of Lancelin for a bit of lunch. We bought a box of Rosie's Chicken and both my brother and I agree that the fried chicken was one of the best we have ever had - fried to a salty crisp. Yum! Lancelin seems really small and mainly for tourists heading to the beaches or stopping by to Cervantes. Sometimes I dream of living in a small little town like Lancelin where you know everyone and run a little business that you love.

Altogether, it was about a 3 hours drive from Fremantle to The Pinnacles. We used the new Indian Ocean Drive, a straightforward route that took us through Yanchep National Park and brought us quite near to the Western Australia coastline while on Grey Road. The Pinnacles is located within Nambung National Park and was very well sign-posted. It costs $11 per car for entry to the Pinnacles. You can choose to cover the area on foot or drive through Pinnacles Drive. If you use the car route, don't worry about having to stay in the car throughout, there's ample space along the route to park, hop out and wander around The Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles were other-worldly! I felt like I was on a Star Wars set. It's amazing how these limestone formations were formed organically over time. The day we visited was the one overcast day that we had while in Perth, rendering the landscape colours rather flat. The best time you are supposed to visit is either early morning or sunset but that may not work if you are apprehensive about driving the long journey in the dark (like us). Probably best to stay overnight in a nearby town. So if you are ever in Perth, make sure to carve out at least half a day to visit The Pinnacles, they are not to be missed!

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